Hello Creative Freelancers. This is my first post for the Creative Freelancer Blog and so I’d like to introduce myself — after I point out the tax dilemma that confronts you, the self-employed creative.
According to IRS stats, there are 40 million-plus self-employed Americans. And that number is rapidly increasing in our present harsh economic climate.
Despite those growing numbers and the changes occurring in the American workplace, the tax laws are written without you in mind. They are written for the corporate world and the employees who inhabit that world. The tax preparation software programs follow suit.
Most accountants and tax professionals are in the same place. With some exceptions, most of them don’t have a clue what the life of a creative freelancer is like. They think you’re flaky. They often give you irrelevant and, even worse, incorrect advice. All their assumptions about tax issues are tied to the corporate world, a world in which business and personal life are completely separate. They don’t understand that the businesses of creative freelancers are tangled up with their personal lives, often involving their friends and families.
You deserve to get the best advice available. You are talented and spirited people, motivated and deeply interested in your work – bright, intuitive, hard-working with talents that likely outweigh your business skills.
You need accurate, simple, easy-to-understand information and practical know-how about business deductions, easy recordkeeping, estimated taxes and a host of other tax issues. It’s vitally important. If you don’t understand the basics and you gum up the works, you will find that getting the gum out is expensive, time-consuming and worrisome. The consequences include paying interest and penalties to Uncle Sam, spending a bundle to hire a tax professional to clean up the mess, going through the anxiety of an audit, and time away from your business. Such complications could prove fatal to your creative endeavor.
I have been a practicing accountant for many years. My clientele is made up entirely of self-employed people. I call them indies. Most of them are creative freelancers like you. I have a deep respect for the talent and intelligence of creative people who have struck out on their own. My goal is to make the business side of their indie ventures as easy as possible. My style suits the kinds of people I advise. Dealing with an atypical clientele has forced me to innovate with approaches centered on their particular needs.
In my writing and seminars I focus on fostering in the self-employed the same mastery in business matters that they possess in their creative or professional pursuits. My goal is to develop the Confident Indie in all of you.
My clients live and create all over the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Most have been with me for a decade or more. I had offices in New York City and New Jersey before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I plan to provide you with tax- and time-saving information on a regular basis here on the Creative Freelancer blog. Please watch for tomorrow’s post: You must have a profit in 3 out of 5 years: Hogwash!!
For more information that will help simplify the business side of your creative life please visit my site, www.junewalkeronline.com, and my blog, www.junewalkeronline.blogspot.com, which is full of questions and answers.
Listen to BTW: [audio:http://iliseb.audioacrobat.com/download/d28f1f8c-ffaf-3f61-0d1e-9a59bd315be0.mp3]
June gave a session called “Money-Saving Tax Solutions for Creatives” at CFC 2009. You can listen to a short clip here.